Israeli Jets Strike Two Palestinian Guerrilla Bases
RASHAYA, Lebanon (AP) _ Israeli warplanes on Friday pounded two bases in Syrian-policed north and east Lebanon used by a radical Palestinian guerrilla faction, wounding at least eight guerrillas, police said.
Police said the fighters from the Libyan-backed, Damascus-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command were wounded in simultaneous air attacks.
In Israel, the military confirmed it raided two bases and said its planes returned safely.
The four Israeli jet fighters targeted a base on the southern edge of the town of Sultan Yacoub in the eastern Bekaa valley and a base near the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared in northern Lebanon.
Both regions are controlled by Syrian troops.
Security sources in the south, speaking on condition of anonymity, said before the attacks, three Israeli warplanes flew patrols over southern Lebanon, dropping more than 1,300 flares to illuminate the sector that borders Israel.
A police spokesman said three guerrillas were wounded in the raid on the base at Sultan Yacoub and five in Tal Hayat.
The base at Sultan Yacoub housed an ammunition depot, a guerrilla training camp and a communications center, said the spokesman, who cannot be further identified in line with regulations.
The base at Tal Hayat housed a naval command center.
He said the jets scored direct hits on the bases, inflicting severe damage. The ammunition depot at Sultan Yacoub was set ablaze, generating a chain of explosions.
The warplanes also dropped three delayed-action bombs at the Sultan Yacoub base, the latest of which exploded at 10:30 a.m., three hours after the air attack, the police spokesman said.
He said no one was hurt in the later blasts, which went off after Lebanese Red Cross rescuers evacuated the wounded guerrillas.
″One of them is in critical condition. Another guerrilla lost a leg ... and the third has shrapnel wounds all over his body,″ he said.
Palestinian guerrillas opened fire at the raiding jets with twin-barrelled 23mm anti-aircraft guns, but no hits were observed, the police spokesman said.
The guerrilla group, led by Ahmed Jibril, has been blamed for a series of raids, including the Nov. 27, 1987, hang-glider attack on a northern Israeli army base that left six Israeli soldiers dead and eight wounded.
Sultan Yacoub is about 24 miles north of the Israeli border. Nahr el-Bared is more than 100 miles north of Israel.
Friday’s air attack was Israel’s 13th raid on Lebanon this year. By police count, 16 people were killed and 31 wounded in the 12 previous Israeli air strikes.